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Catholic Church Going Old School, Getting Back To Latin With New Mass Translation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- This weekend, Christians will celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, and Catholics will begin using a new translation of the Mass.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb On The Story


The changes will affect the priest more than those in the pews, but many responses will have to be relearned.

"When you tamper with the Mass, you got problems, because everyone is used to praying it," Archbishop Timothy Dolan told CBS 2's John Slattery.

Archbishop Dolan, who was informally dressed for a Thanksgiving food distribution on Tuesday, said the new translation is more in keeping with the Latin.

"It's beautiful, it's more poetic, more uplifting, more to the normal definitive text which is the Latin," Dolan said.

The third edition of the Roman Missal replaces the second edition, which was commissioned after Vatican II in the 1960s.

Father James Martin said the translation is a little more elevated. For example, when the priest says: "The Lord be with you," instead of saying, "and also with you," the new response is "And with your spirit," which is closer to the Latin, "et cum spiritu tuo."

"Now the pros and cons -- the pros are that's what the Latin says so that's what we should say.  The cons -- that doesn't mean much to a lot of people, if I say, with your spirit," Martin said.

Grant Gallicho of Commonweal magazine said some American bishops wanted to wait.

"They think the translation is not that good. They think it's not speakable English," Gallicho said.

Some Catholics think with the sex abuse crisis and aging priests, the church has bigger problems.

"I think they're going back to something very conservative, and I find the language very stilted," John Lee said.

"And to change the Mass seems to be going from bigger issues and going after some of the easy stuff," Jim Dotter added.

As the archbishop says, it will take some getting used to, but it's here to stay, until the next time they change it.

The new translation did not come quickly. It has been in the works for some 30 years.

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